Everyone is outraged that AIG, which sidled up to the public trough to the tune of 75 Billion dollars, has apparently paid out over a hundred million in “bonuses” to employees this past weekend.
How do we know AIG got 75 billion in bailout money? We don’t. We’re taking Washington’s word for it.
How do we know AIG paid out 105 million in bonuses this weekend? We don’t. We’re taking their word for it.
The financial media tell us AIG had to pay the “bonuses” because it was in their employment contracts. This, of course, is the same financial media that warned us about the impending economic meltdown (NOT!) and the same media which were so thoroughly excoriated by John Stewart on Comedy Central last week.
As the government counseled us against panic in the early days of the meltdown, it was obviously in panic mode itself. It shoveled tons of money at AIG and other poorly-managed businesses - money it didn’t have, and money that came with apparently absolutely no strings attached.
Later in the meltdown, with the borrowed money still being shoveled at failing companies at an incredible rate, a few strings were attached. But we still don’t have any reliable source which can tell us who got how much money, with what terms, and what they’re doing with it. Basics of lending money.
Just a thought about future dolings-out of money we don’t have to companies that have shown no evidence of being able to manage it: maybe we ought to put a clause in there saying that if they accept the bailout money, it nullifies any “bonus clause” of any employment contract until such time as the bailout money is paid back.
We ARE going to get paid back, aren’t we?